Woodward book puts White House back in damage-control mode

Bob Woodward and Donald Trump

Fear, by veteran Washington journalist Bob Woodward, describes a White House in a "nervous breakdown" where staffers are constantly trying to prevent the president from creating new crises.

Woodward cites as his sources hundreds of hours of interviews with mostly unnamed Trump aides and others.

Former top economic adviser Gary Cohn so feared that the programme would be at risk if Trump signed a letter formally withdrawing the United States from a South Korean trade agreement that he stole the letter from the Oval Office desk, said CNN, which also obtained a copy of Woodward's book. "I don't even know why any of us are here".

'The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true, ' he said in a statement.

■Reince Priebus, Kelly's predecessor, called the presidential bedroom "the devil's workshop" because that's where Trump watched cable news and tweeted.

The book quotes Trump as mocking his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who has been a target of the president's wrath since recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation. "He's this dumb southerner", Trump said, according to the book. Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them", The Washington Post reported Tuesday in a piece with details from "Fear: "Trump in the White House".

Dowd reportedly told the president: "Don't testify". After a January National Security Council meeting in which North Korea was discussed, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told close associates the president "acted like - and had the understanding of - 'a fifth- or sixth-grader'". "I think they do".

Defense Secretary James Mattis and former economic advisor Gary Cohn are among aides actively circumventing Trump's orders and even stealing documents off his desk, according to Woodward.

At one point Mr Kelly, the chief of staff, reportedly said of Mr Trump during a staff meeting: "He's an idiot".

Myanmar jails two Reuters journalists for 7 years over Rohingya reporting
Prosecutors accused the men of obtaining secret state documents, in breach of the Official Secrets Act. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Knut Ostby, said in a statement .

The chemical attack, which was carried out by Assad, killed dozens and prompted a US missile strike against a Syrian air base which Washington said was used to launch the strike. The Washington Post published excerpts earlier Tuesday.

The next morning, Dowd quit as one of Trump's lawyers.

When Trump insisted on talking Mueller and promised, "I'll be a real good witness", Woodward said Dowd responded, "You are not a good witness". I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell.

This is not just a book about an administration; it's a window into a White House that is tearing at the seems and a commander who is genuinely not mentally fit to run it-something that the public has known for a while, even without the firsthand access Woodward provides to put the nail in the coffin.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley denied Tuesday that Trump had ever planned to assassinate Assad.

Trump, in turn, belittles his senior aides in ways that would be shocking coming from anybody else. Woodward tells Trump he had contacted multiple officials to attempt to interview Trump and was rebuffed.

A new inside look at U.S. President Donald Trump paints him as dangerously ignorant of world affairs and his White House as dysfunctional and devastatingly beset by internal feuds. Trump claimed that no one had told him about the interview request. "I guess I can bring it right to the president next time", she admits.

According to Woodward's reporting, Trump stumbles and contradicts himself during the exercise and Dowd is convinced that Trump should never sit down with Justice Department investigators.

Gary Cohn, who was the chief White House economic adviser, went so far previous year as to steal an order from Trump's desk that, if the president had signed it, would have cancelled the US-South Korea trade agreement.

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